Uganda is a landlocked country situated across the equator in East Africa. Due to its geographical location, Uganda has a tropical climate, with dry and rain seasons in a year. North eastern parts, Karamoja region experiences dry spells in its semi-arid Kidepo valley national park the true African wilderness.
What to Expect on Your Visit
In the western region where the altitudes are high, cold weather and high amounts of rainfall are expected due to tropical rain forests such as Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and the large amounts of snow on the peaks of Ruwenzori Mountains.
Uganda is a country of diverse wildlife and culture and is commonly referred to as the pearl of Africa. In the travel media, Uganda is well known for its mountain gorillas and most visitors would travel to this beautiful country mainly for gorilla tracking experience. There are 10 national parks and 13 wildlife reserves protecting diverse wildlife including more than 1000 species of birds and big 5 mammals. There are also interesting geographical points such as the official source of the Nile the world’s longest river and Lake Victoria the largest fresh water lake with tropical islands.
Beyond the wildlife and natural beauty, the people of Uganda are very friendly and welcoming and their country is politically safe and secure for travelers. You can obtain visa on arrival at Entebbe international airport given you have your documents, apply online or at Uganda diplomatic embassy, thus traveling to Uganda is hustle free. The capital city Kampala is located 40 km away from the airport.
When traveling to Uganda for the first time, you need an understanding of what to expect on a trip. You could land on information that’s little confusing about the political situation. But if dealing with the right kind of tour operators, your research will pay off. And you will arrive in Uganda aware of the culture, common words in local language and the nature of transportation.
How to book your safari to Uganda
If you are planning for a safari to Uganda, you can book your trip with a recognized tour operator or travel agent. Make sure that the agent you intend to deal with is registered and recognized. There are many tour companies in Uganda and you need only one that is trust worthy for you to deal with. In most cases, they have cars for hire to help you connect to your dream destination.
How to get to Uganda
When you think of a trip to Uganda, no need for you to worry because there are international and regional flights to help you get to magical country. The notable airlines for you to use include Brussels, Kenya Airways, British airways, KLM and many more. There are also other means of transportation in Uganda including regional coaches/buses to help you get to the pearl of Africa. You will need a valid passport and visa to get to Uganda. To get to the parks of your choice, there are many car rentals for you to help you reach to your dream destination and usually they come with professional driver guides.
Best time to visit Uganda
Uganda can be visited at any time of year. However, when planning for your safari, take note of the dry and wet season. The dry season is usually regarded as the best time for one to visit this magical destination and it starts from June to September and December to February. The wet season on the other hand is ideal on its own way especially for birders. This usually starts from March to May and from October to November.
What to pack for a safari to Uganda
For a successful road trip in Uganda, you to pack appropriately. Depending on what your travel needs are, for visitors on gorilla safari, the key items not to miss out in your packing list include long sleeved shirts or t-shirt, hat, camera with no flash light, sweater, waterproof hiking boots, water, energy giving snacks, rain jacket or poncho a mention but a few.
Uganda like other states in the world isn’t 100 percent safe and normally, safety starts with you. Avoid walking at night alone or in dark corners within the city. In case of any need to eat something, avoid street food. There are many good restaurants or hotels for you to have food-this is just for your health as most of these street food may not be of high standard when it comes to hygiene.
Survival tips for first time travelers
Don’t show off your valuables such as money, smartphones, computers or cameras. Keep all your belongings and don’t leave them un attended in public places.
Carry cash in dollars and local currency Uganda shillings because payments in local markets, craft shops are made both in cash but credit cards are also use in lodges and hotels.
There are different types of accommodation in Uganda. In Kampala and around Entebbe town there are a variety of accommodations ranging from budget friendly hotels, mid-range and deluxe to luxury hotels.
In and around Uganda national parks, accommodations are unique. There are lodges, tented camps with traditional style such as grass thatched lodges, home stays which offer a taste of Uganda culture. Most accommodations provide free Wi-Fi in the main lounge but rarely in rooms. For those who prefer low cost accommodations, there are also guest houses.
The service level and amenities are different depending on the type of the accommodation. Generally amenities provided in rooms include drinking mineral water, sandals, bathing soap, bath tabs services. Personal items like tooth brushes are not provided.
For a more information about exploring the country, read the detailed Guide to Uganda, a one-stop travel guide to help you plan a perfect holiday to the Pearl of Africa.